what happened in 1941 ww2
Western Europe was eerily quiet during this ‘phoney war’. Preparations for war continued in earnest, but there were few signs of conflict, and civilians who had been evacuated from London in the first months drifted back into the city. Gas masks were distributed, and everybody waited for the proper war to begin.
Mussolini was audaciously rescued by a German task force, led by Otto Skorzeny, and established a fascist republic in the north. German troops also engaged the Allies in the south – the fight through Italy was to prove slow and costly.
Despite opposition from isolationists, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease act to provide aid to Great Britain.
The Germans reach the gates of Moscow. Civilians flee the “Bolshoi Trap” amid panic and looting.
1941 The war in Europe continued to dominate world affairs but a new threat was growing which would soon involve America as the Japanese caused a threat Asia in the Pacific and preparations for war continued . The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed the joint session of congress asking for help in the form of Arms . The US still continued as normal with 2 great movies produced that year that would stand the test of time “Citizen Kane” and “Dumbo”. After many years where parents had decided what teenagers wore a new revolution was happening where teenagers became fashion conscious , also drive in Movies and drive in fast food were growing in popularity. On December 7th the US was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii more than 2400 American servicemen were killed that day and America entered the WAR . And with neutrality ended some 950 tanks were sent to Britain together with food, trucks, guns and ammunition.
Jump To World Leaders — Calendar — Technology — Popular Culture — News and Events — Born This Year — Cost Of Living
- Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on a peace mission and is captured by British forces.
- Churchill launches the “V for Victory” campaign across Europe
Bock’s renewed advance on Moscow began on October 2, 1941. Its prospects looked bright when Bock’s armies brought off a great encirclement around Vyazma, where 600,000 more Soviet troops were captured. That left the Germans momentarily with an almost clear path to Moscow. But the Vyazma battle had not been completed until late October; the German troops were tired, the country became a morass as the weather got worse, and fresh Soviet forces appeared in the path as they plodded slowly forward. Some of the German generals wanted to break off the offensive and to take up a suitable winter line. But Bock wanted to press on, believing that the Soviets were on the verge of collapse, while Brauchitsch and Halder tended to agree with his view. As that also accorded with Hitler’s desire, he made no objection. The temptation of Moscow, now so close in front of their eyes, was too great for any of the topmost leaders to resist. On December 2 a further effort was launched, and some German detachments penetrated into the suburbs of Moscow; but the advance as a whole was held up in the forests covering the capital. The stemming of this last phase of the great German offensive was partly due to the effects of the Russian winter, whose subzero temperatures were the most severe in several decades. In October and November a wave of frostbite cases had decimated the ill-clad German troops, for whom provisions of winter clothing had not been made, while the icy cold paralyzed the Germans’ mechanized transport, tanks, artillery, and aircraft. The Soviets, by contrast, were well clad and tended to fight more effectively in winter than did the Germans. By this time German casualties had mounted to levels that were unheard of in the campaigns against France and the Balkans; by November the Germans had suffered about 730,000 casualties.
These Soviet counteroffensives tumbled back the exhausted Germans, lapped around their flanks, and produced a critical situation. From generals downward, the invaders were filled with ghastly thoughts of Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow. In that emergency Hitler forbade any retreat beyond the shortest possible local withdrawals. His decision exposed his troops to awful sufferings in their advanced positions facing Moscow, for they had neither the clothing nor the equipment for a Russian winter campaign; but if they had once started a general retreat it might easily have degenerated into a panic-stricken rout.
For months, the Soviet leadership had refused to heed warnings from the western powers of the German troop buildup along its western border. Germany and its Axis partners thus achieved almost complete tactical surprise. Much of the existing Soviet air force was destroyed on the ground. The Soviet armies were initially overwhelmed. German units encircled millions of Soviet soldiers, who, cut off from supplies and reinforcements, had few options other than to surrender.
Under the codename Operation “Barbarossa,” Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, in the largest German military operation of World War II.